(Bloomberg) -- India’s biggest drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. recovered from a surprise quarterly loss last year and swung back into profit as the U.S., its largest overseas market, started reopening after curbing its Covid-19 outbreak.
The firm headed by billionaire Dilip Shanghvi posted a net income of 14.4 billion rupees ($193.7 million) for the quarter ended June 30 compared to an average profit estimate of 14.13 billion rupees based on a Bloomberg survey of analysts. Revenue rose 28% to 97.2 billion rupees, according to an exchange filing Friday. It also took a much smaller one-time charge of 6.31 billion rupees in the latest quarter.
The resilience of Sun’s earnings despite the company not having produced any Covid-related treatments during the pandemic reflects its bet on specialty drugs in the U.S paying off. The Mumbai-based company has a portfolio spanning dermatology, ophthalmology and oncology in its top market outside India.
As the U.S. struggled to contain its coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, India was hit by a deadly second wave in March. Last month, Sun said it was collaborating with a number of others on a clinical trial in India of the anti-viral drug Molnupiravir for the treatment of mild Covid.
While the drugmaker hasn’t covered the coronavirus treatment market, their “outperformance through Covid and supply disruption is testimony to Sun’s brand equity and distribution muscle in the market,” AllianceBernstein analysts Nithya Balasubramanian and Praveen Shreenivas wrote in a report last week. “In the short-term we expect growth will be aided by post Covid demand recovery especially in acute therapies where Sun has meaningful exposure.”
However, Sun’s earnings have been hit recently with multiple legal charges in the U.S. and Europe. The firm took a one-time charge related to antitrust probes in the previous quarter. Last year, it reported a surprise first quarter loss as it set aside nearly $480 million to settle drug price-fixing allegations in the U.S.
The company also resolved a patent litigation with Bristol Myers Squibb unit Celgene Corp. in June, which gave Sun a license to manufacture and sell a limited quantity of the generic cancer drug lenalidomide in the U.S. after March 2022.
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